Auckland FC to debut at Go Media Stadium

Featured image credit: Go Media Stadium

A-League expansion team Auckland FC has agreed a deal which will see Go Media Stadium become its home ground, with the naming rights deal for the venue also being extended.

Auckland FC’s deal with Auckland Stadiums, a division of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, will see the team commit to play its home games at Go Media Stadium for at least the first five years of competition, while basing its training and administrative headquarters at North Harbour Stadium.

The Australian Professional Leagues (APL) announced the award of a full A-Leagues licence to US businessman Bill Foley, and Auckland, back in November. The A-League Men’s team will join in the 2024-25 season in October, while a A-League Women’s team is set to launch in the following year. Currently, the A-League competitions have one New Zealand-based team in the shape of Wellington Phoenix.

Go Media Stadium was considered to be the favourite to host the new club. The stadium has a capacity of 30,000 and is primarily used to host rugby union and rugby league games, including serving as the home ground of NRL team the New Zealand Warriors.

Auckland FC CEO, Nick Becker, said: “Go Media Stadium is an iconic football stadium in New Zealand and we can’t wait to write our own stories here. It is going to provide a fantastic backdrop for our fan first match day experience, with a family fanzone and different zones that cater for every type of sports fan.  

“We are building a team packed with young, exciting Kiwi talent who will play an attacking style of football for Auckland football fans to enjoy and we can’t wait to get started at Go Media in October.”

Go Media makes long-term commitment

Mount Smart Stadium was rebranded as part of a naming-rights deal with outdoor advertising company Go Media that was struck in May 2023. Auckland Stadiums signed an initial one-year deal with Go Media, with both parties at the time stating they were keen to explore a multi-year partnership further down the line.

This has now been realised, with Go Media extending its agreement as the commercial naming rights partner of Mount Smart Stadium for at least four more years. The venue will continue to be known as Go Media Stadium until 2028.

Under the terms of the new agreement, Go Media have committed to significant further investment into the venue including exploring opportunities to install a second large replay screen to further elevate the matchday experience.

Tātaki Auckland Unlimited stadiums director, James Parkinson, said: “In Go Media we have found a partner who is committed to adding value to Auckland, to our venue and to our local communities. 

“This partnership and the length of the new multi-year agreement shows the commercial confidence in our venue from a 100% Kiwi-owned business in the private sector. Through partnerships like this we are able to reduce Auckland Stadiums’ reliance on rate payer funding, allowing us to give value back to the people of Auckland.”

Go Media managing director, Mike Gray, added: “Our operating model is to support all the communities we operate in through sponsorship, to help make them better places to live. Go Media Stadium allows us to invest directly back into our biggest market, Tāmaki Makaurau, to underpin that commitment which benefits all ratepayers.

“We have a fantastic relationship with the major tenants at Go Media Stadium and are proud to be a sponsor of the Warriors Foundation and now the outdoor media partner of Auckland FC. We are committed to investing in the infrastructure at the stadium to enhance that fan experience even more – starting with a second replay screen.

“The One NZ Warriors games have an electric atmosphere, and we are looking forward to helping create the same feeling for the Black Knights.”